A U.S. judge entered a $9.4 billion judgment against Hezbollah after the Lebanon-based group defaulted in a lawsuit over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan today said that Hezbollah, designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, must pay the damages to insurers including Chubb Corp. (CB:US) that sought to recoup payments to business and property policyholders for losses from the attacks.
The insurers won default judgments in 2006 against al-Qaeda and Hezbollah after the groups didn’t contest the suit.
“Obviously we’re pleased that a judgment has been entered,” said Sean Carter, a lawyer for Warren, New Jersey- based Chubb, whose Federal Insurance Co. unit was allocated $4.5 billion, the largest share of the damages.
Carter, who said it’s unlikely the insurers will ever collect the full amount of the judgment, said they can take advantage of a U.S. law that permits parties to execute judgments against terrorist assets frozen by the government.
“It’s not purely an academic or a symbolic exercise,” he said.
The case is Federal Insurance Co. v. Al Qaida, 03-CV-6978, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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